Chaplains’ Rise In Corporate America
Workplace chaplains have been around for more than 50 years. By the late 1980s, there were several national organizations providing chaplains and their counseling services to American businesses. In recent years, as businesses looked at ways to cut costs, some turned to corporate chaplains as an alternative to more traditional employee assistance programs.
A study by the Families and Work Institute found that more than 97 percent of companies with payrolls larger than 5,000 offer employee assistance programs, with anonymous counseling and referrals available by phone. But employees are more likely to use corporate chaplains than standard mental-health benefits, according to another study by David Miller and Faith Ngunjiri of Princeton University’s Faith & Work Initiative. At least half of 1,000 employees surveyed have used the services of a chaplain in the workplace-far more than those who use standard assistance programs.
A number of member companies of The C12 Group offer chaplain services to their employees through Corporate Chaplains of America (CCA), a worldwide, non-denominational Christian chaplaincy organization, founded in 1996. The CCA has over 150 team members serving and caring daily for 300,000 plus employees and families in over 36 states, as well as internationally. “The Chaplains come in and they are the servants to the employee. It’s a perfect, perfect, marriage between these two organizations. It is fascinating to see how God has bought them together. A complimentary basis of ministry,” says Mark Cress, Founder of Corporate Chaplains of America.
According to Marc Martin, Chair of The C12 Group in Central Wisconsin, after inviting CCA representatives to a group meeting, three of the member companies invested in the CCA service. “What the chaplains do is spend time getting to know the employees of the network companies, building relationships, providing a listening ear that many do not have anywhere else in their lives. CCA has strict guidelines about confidentiality, so the employees can confide in the chaplain in ways they would not feel comfortable sharing with the business owner. In addition to being a trusted friend and confidante for the employees, with the employee’s permission the chaplain is able to share the message of salvation when appropriate to do so,” says Martin.
Christian businesses are not the only companies fueling the growth of corporate chaplaincy. The US government and well-known global companies also offer on-site chaplain services to its employees. General Motors, Ford, Coca-Cola, and Tyson Foods are among the major companies that have chaplains. GM and Ford have studied the results and found a $9 return for every $1 invested in the program. According to Forbes magazine, the cost of having a corporate chaplain can be less than $10 per employee per month.
Corporate Chaplains of America’s CEO, Preston Parrish says, “And like hundreds of business leaders we’ve served since our founding by Mark Cress in1996, you’ll see for yourself that it makes good business sense, as well as good Kingdom sense, to provide your employees with quality chaplaincy.”
The American free enterprise workplace today is both multi-cultural and extremely diverse spiritually. Although it employs only Christian chaplains, CCA pledges to care for all employees regardless of ethnic or faith background in a completely non-threatening manner.
To learn more about Corporate Chaplains of America visit http://www.chaplain.org.
About the C12 Group
The C12 Group is America’s leading executive roundtable for Christian CEOs and owners building great businesses for a greater purpose. C12 Members gather monthly for a unique, proven peer forum to engage in worthwhile continual learning, brainstorming, intentional accountability, and to share proven best practices, combined with eternal perspective. Members also receive monthly counsel through one-on-one sessions, an annual business review, and an online library of high-impact leadership tools. Founded in 1992 by Buck Jacobs, dedicated Christian author and CEO, C12’s mission is to change the world by bringing forth the Kingdom of God in the marketplace through the companies and lives of those He calls to run businesses for Him.
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